1 dead, 1 in critical condition after I-55 crash
HAMMOND - State Police say an Arkansas resident was killed and a man is in critical condition after a wreck involving three vehicles on Interstate 55 in Hammond Friday night.
Troopers say the crash claimed the life of 60-year-old Mariam Williams, of Sherwood, Arkansas.
Investigators say the crash happened around 6:30 p.m. as 26-year-old Brittany Barber Spears, of Franklinton, was driving northbound in the left lane of I-55. Ahead of Spears’ vehicle and also in the left lane, was a pickup truck driven by 62-year-old Thomas J. Stephens, of Amite.
Spears crashed into the rear of Stephens’ truck, causing her vehicle to travel through the median and into the southbound lanes of I-55. After she crossed over, Spears’ vehicle collided head-on with a sedan driven by 64-year-old Charles Williams, of Sherwood, Arkansas.
Troopers said that while Williams’ wife, the front seat passenger, was wearing a seatbelt, she suffered injuries during the crash that eventually caused her to be pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office. Her husband was also wearing a seatbelt and was taken to an area hospital where he is listed in critical condition.
State Police say impairment is not suspected to have been a factor in the crash, but blood samples were taken from both injured drivers for analysis at the State Police Crime Lab.
The driver of the pickup truck, Thomas Stephens, was not injured in the crash. He voluntarily submitted a breath sample for State Police that showed no trace amounts of alcohol.
The crash remains under investigation, and any charges will be referred to the Tangiaphoa Parish District Attorney’s Office for further review.